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On October 20, 2016, Barbara underwent a total knee replacement. The procedure went very well, and recovery over the next couple of weeks also went very well, except for some problems that were documented as known side effects of the opioid pain medication she was on. These included: nausea, constipation and some abdominal discomfort (which we associated with the constipation). As recovery proceeded, the knee continued to get better, but the other symptoms continued to get worse, even after the opioid pain medication were discontinued. Barb was admitted to the hospital (Cayuga Medical Center) on Monday, November 21, for several imaging scans, and various lab tests. The scans showed a small abnormal mass on the pancreas (about 1.25" x 1"), along with some fluid in her abdomen around the liver. The fluid was extracted (about 550cc), and submitted to the lab for analysis. Barb was released on Wednesday, November 23 in time for Thanksgiving at home! On November 30, 2016, we met with the oncologist and received the news that the fluid tested positive for cancer. The diagnosis was stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Barb started chemotherapy about a week and a half later, but she had a very difficult time with it. She had extreme nausea, which was never really able to be controlled, and after one round of chemotherapy and a few more days in the hospital, Barb decided that was enough and we contacted hospice. Barb was home for Christmas, and had a good day, but declined quickly afterwards. Barb passed away peacefully a little after midnight on December 29, one day short of a month after her diagnosis.